This is my maternal grandmother Chasya Stolyar’s sister’s husband. The photo was taken in Vyborg in the 1910s.
My forefathers both on my father’s and mother’s sides lived in the Baltic Sea region, in Lithuania, in the town of Zarasay. In those times the town was named Novoaleksandrovsk, later it was renamed Zarasay. I have never seen any of my grandmothers or grandfathers, as they lived abroad and I was born in the Soviet Union. We had no opportunity to see them, because trips abroad were not allowed. For us Lithuania was behind the Iron Curtain.’ We received pieces of news very rarely, so we really did not know anything about my grandparents.
I remember very little. However, Father spoke very highly of his parents. His mother Chaya Sarah Mussel died before her husband, before the war. She was a very kind woman, cooked national Jewish meals and together with her husband, Tsvi, observed all Jewish traditions. Grandpa Tsvi Girsh worked very hard in order to support his family. I don’t know for sure, if my grandpa died before the war in 1941, or if Fascists murdered him. In any case, he perished in 1941.
My mother’s parents owned a nice big house in Zarasay. There was a healing water spring nearby. Grandpa Shlomo Stolyar was a rabbi. My maternal grandmother very much resembled her sister, whose photo I still keep. After Grandpa Shlomo died, his children continued to live in his house. They were all murdered by the Germans later. After the war the parents of a Lithuanian guerilla, Maria Melnikaite, settled in Grandpa’s house. There is a memorial museum in her honor in Zarasay.